This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
IT was the worst night of Theo Aldridge’s life. It was also going to be his last. Well, that was the plan; he just hadn’t been able to go through with it yet, although not for lack of trying.
At first, everything had gone according to plan. He waited for his foster parents to go to bed, and he locked his door in case one of his rambunctious foster siblings tried to barge in. Theo reached into the back of his bottom dresser drawer and retrieved the noose he had fashioned out of several winter scarves that he had sewed together. It was a bit tricky to secure the end of the homemade noose to his ceiling fan but not difficult enough to dissuade him.
He rolled his desk chair into the middle of the room. Theo locked the wheels and then raised his eyes. The noose dangled in front of his face, swaying gently. Staring directly at his imminent death probably should have given him some sort of ominous feeling or revelation. Instead, the mismatched, brightly colored scarves made him think of Christmas.
It was a nice last thought.
His legs shook only a little as he balanced carefully on the chair. Theo slipped the noose around his neck. He took a deep breath. Hopefully his foster family would understand once they read the letter he left them. The envelope sat on his neatly made bed propped up against a pillow. They were good people, and they didn’t deserve his misery.
Before he could talk himself out of it, Theo closed his eyes tightly and jumped, purposefully kicking the chair over. The soft scarves suddenly stretched, gripping his throat in a vice. On instinct, he sucked in a quick breath and held it. In no time at all, his lungs started to burn, and his peripheral vision began fading to black.
Theo released his final breath.
And then he took another.
Surprised, Theo opened his eyes. The noose was still wound unmercifully around his neck, and he was still suspended above the floor by his ceiling fan. Experimentally, he inhaled again. Theo’s lungs expanded until his ribs ached.
That wasn’t right. It couldn’t be right. He exhaled and then took several more deep breaths just to be sure.
The unrelenting pressure of the noose was certainly uncomfortable, but he definitely wasn’t dying. He could breathe unimpeded for Pete’s sake.
It took him almost two hours to extricate himself from the makeshift gallows. He really should not have kicked the chair so far away.
From there, the night continued to go south.
Theo popped the blades out of his foster mom’s razor and made deep, vertical cuts on the underside of both his arms. The bleeding stopped after five minutes. He tried downing a combination of Advil and Benadryl, but he couldn’t swallow more than ten pills before he was slumped over the toilet bowl emptying his stomach.
Next he went to the kitchen for a plastic bag. He placed it over his head and pinched the bag shut beneath his jaw. He waited for ten minutes, but his attempt at suffocation was just as successful as his earlier attempt at hanging. In a last ditch effort, Theo filled the bathtub and tried to drown himself, but that required more will power than even he had.
With his limited access to stronger drugs—prescription or otherwise—and the lack of firearms in the house, Theo found himself out of options.
He retreated to his bed for the rest of the night, completely exhausted, and collapsed on top of the blankets. Tomorrow was a new day, as his dad used to be so fond of saying.
Maybe death would be kinder in the morning.
Charlie_8472: Recommended to me by a friend, I thought I'd give this a read. As a hobbyist blacksmith, the blurb certainly caught my attention. I found the sentence about them drinking, dancing and fighting a strange combination of activities, perhaps a reflection of the writer’s personality and humour. Howeve...
dragonswilleise: I loved this book, it was nearly impossible to put down from start to finish. It was fast passed without being overwhelming and slowed down where needed. Overall this was an amazing novel that I will definitely recommend to others.
Talon Richey: The answer to that question is NO! I absolutely loved the book, it has a way of lifting the magic right of the page and into the imagination. The story is well thought out and connects so easily with its self that as a reader i felt like it could actually be real. defiantly in my top five favori...
Alex Rushmer: This was not what I expected, but I enjoyed it a lot Malfoy was always one of the characters that I liked a lot, so I like that a lot of this happens between him and Colette. I read the first couple chapters, and I enjoyed your writing style and am excited to see where you take this story. My com...
Alice Liu: Whoa! I've been wondering how would the Maurauders react to Harry's life and here we go! YOU ARE THE BEST! All the characters are consistent with their personalities shown in the book! I love how you compare Lily with Molly and it's definitely true for her being a mother! I wish Peter comes have ...
colt: i love your books! all of them! i am so happy for you! when i first read your book i thought "this seems really interesting" and i just got hooked had to have more, i wondered if you had a sequel to the first one, and you did, i was so excited that i had to start reading it. your series left me t...
ga1984: I really enjoyed it! Characters were deep and plot was pretty complex. A bit on the violent side but it doesnt detract from the story. Very dark but situations make sense. Ends kinda abruptly and later chapters will need some editing work. I'm assuming there's more in the works?
Deleted User: This is a very clever story in the style of 19th century (and turn of the century) Gothic writing, very reminiscent of Stevenson's The Body Snatchers or even of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (less so of Frankenstein itself, since the author is more minimalist than Shelley's florid, Romantic rhetoric). ...
Usagi Kita: This story is emotional from beginning to end. You get to watch the characters struggle and grow, maturing in different ways so that they come to be the people they are meant to be. Inea is insanely adorable, and his antics made me laugh more than once, and Kaedon is perfect for him in so many wa...
FreakyPoet: "you made me laugh, made me cry, both are hard to do. I spent most of the night reading your story, captivated. This is why you get full stars from me. Thanks for the great story!"
Sara Joy Bailey: "Full of depth and life. The plot was thrilling. The author's style flows naturally and the reader can easily slip into the pages of the story. Very well done."